Birth Defects From SteroidsInformed Health Online [Internet]. If a baby is anabolic steroids how is it made risk of being born too early, giving the mother steroids before oc birth can help her unborn baby's lungs to develop more quickly. This reduces the risk of serious complications or the newborn dying. Preterm birth is when a baby is born side effects of steroids for unborn baby 37 completed weeks of pregnancy. There is a lot of research on the possible benefits and harms of this treatmentwhich is sometimes called antenatal steroid treatment. As little as one day of treatment steriids make an important difference. Steroid drugs, also known as corticosteroids, are synthetic forms of natural human hormones.
Anyone had steroids to mature baby's lungs? - side effects? |
Steroids are sometimes given to pregnant women if they go into premature labour particularly before 35 weeks as they can help stimulate the development of the baby's lungs. However, concerns have been raised that using steroids at such an early stage of a child's development could cause problems in later life, such as ADHD. The study involved children born in Finland in who were followed up at the ages of eight and 16, when they were assessed using various behavioural scales.
The research included 37 children who were exposed to corticosteroids before birth. They were matched by sex and gestational pregnancy age at birth with around 6, unexposed children. A significant limitation of the study was its small sample size — it involved just 37 children from one region of Finland. For this reason, the research should be treated as exploratory.
Further research into the potential risk is needed, but it is likely that any risk associated with steroid use is likely to be outweighed by the benefits of preventing NRDS. These findings shouldn't affect clinical practice and parents shouldn't worry". The Telegraph also makes it clear that the benefits of using steroids are thought by most clinicians to outweigh any risk.
This study looked at whether there is a link between pre-birth exposure to steroids and long-term mental health outcomes. Babies who are born prematurely prior to 37 completed weeks of pregnancy have an increased risk of various problems, with generally a greater risk the earlier the baby is born.
One risk is that the baby has breathing problems because their lungs aren't yet fully developed. This problem is more likely if the baby is born at less than 35 weeks of pregnancy.
Corticosteroids may be given to try to reduce the risk of the baby developing lung problems such as neonatal respiratory distress syndrome NRDS. They further suggest that although previous research has found an association between increased maternal stress during pregnancy and ADHD in the child, it could be that higher levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol, could actually be responsible for this association.
The researchers say that very little is known about corticosteroid hormones administered to the mother prior to preterm birth and what effect they could have on child behaviour, including ADHD symptoms. This study aimed to examine this by comparing a small sample of children exposed to synthetic corticosteroid hormones glucocorticoids while in the uterus with children of the same average gestational age who had not been exposed to these drugs.
This study used participants in the Northern Finland Birth Cohort, which recruited pregnant women in The study included 8, live single-born babies with consent to use their data. Women completed self-report questionnaires during pregnancy, and antenatal and birth information was made available through hospital records. The researchers screened for the use of pre-birth synthetic glucocorticoids sCGs by performing a systematic review of the records.
The researchers say how in , the use of sCG in pregnancy was controversial, so they only identified 37 children who had been exposed during pregnancy. They excluded 11 children who had been exposed to sCG less than four days before birth, as this would be unlikely to have an effect on foetal brain development. They also excluded the slightly different steroid hormones that had been used to treat maternal inflammatory or allergic conditions.
Children were followed up at eight and 16 years. Childhood mental health was screened at eight years using the validated Rutter's Behaviour Scale B2 , which included subsections for neurotic, antisocial and inattention hyperactivity.
The researchers matched children exposed to sCG with those who were not exposed on the basis of sex and gestational age.
They did this because preterm birth is itself associated with increased risk of poor mental health outcomes, and males are more vulnerable to mental health problems in childhood. The researchers carried out linear models looking for the association between sCG use and child mental health problems, adjusting their analyses for the confounders. At eight years, they had a total of 6, children available for analysis: At 16 years, they had 5, adolescents available: There were reportedly no differences between sex and gestational age-matched cases and controls in terms of sociodemographic or other maternal medical factors.
There was a significant association between pre-birth sGC exposure and the total Rutter score and inattention hyperactivity scores at eight years. They also found consistent associations between pre-birth sGC exposure and each of the outcomes measured at 16 years, though none reached statistical significance. The researchers say that, "This study is the first to explore the long-term associations between prenatal exposure to sGC and mental health in childhood and adolescence.
This research is exploratory and on its own does not prove that pregnancy exposure to corticosteroids causes ADHD. The research does have strengths in that it matched exposed and non-exposed children on the basis of sex and gestational age. This could therefore confound the relationship. The researchers further adjusted for various possible socioeconomic, medical and pregnancy-related factors.
They also benefit from the use of validated scales to assess child mental health outcomes, as well as a large birth cohort. However, despite the large birth cohort, which included almost 9, babies, only 37 were exposed to corticosteroids. It is not known for certain why the mothers were given corticosteroids. It is most likely this was in expectation of premature birth, but the researchers excluded babies who were given steroids within four days of their birth, as they thought that this wouldn't have an effect on the baby's brain.
These children were also all born in one region of Finland during With a small sample of 37 children, it is possible that the results could be because of chance associations that would not be observed in a different sample of children exposed to steroids in the modern era. The research also reported the scores on a symptom scale and did not say whether or not children had confirmed diagnoses of ADHD.
It is also worth noting that significant associations could be because of other unmeasured confounders and not directly from pregnancy corticosteroids.
Overall, corticosteroids have an important role in maternity care. It is not hyperbole to say that steroids have saved thousands of premature babies' lives. Steroid injections for premature babies could raise ADHD risk. Premature baby steroids 'may raise risk of ADHD'. Published online November 22 Check here for alerts.
Where did the story come from? What kind of research was this? What did the research involve? What were the basic results? How did the researchers interpret the results?